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Building a Data Trust for Open Access eBook Usage


Open Access eBook Usage Data Trust started as a discussion in 2015 and with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation manifested into the funded project Understanding Open Access eBookUsage: Toward a Common Framework. 

 written by Dimitris Pierrakos

The project developed a pilot "data trust", which was employed as a vehicle to manage the multiple data sets that are key to understanding Open Access ebook usage while respecting commercial and individual user concerns. The data trust supports the global Open Access eBook publishing ecosystem to document usage data supply chain, understand uses of that data, and plan for elements of a usage data trust's governance and sustainability, operating as an independent intermediary among a variety of stakeholders, like publishers, authors, institutions, etc (Exploring Open Access Ebook Usage). 

 The future of Open Access eBook Usage Data Trust

Open Access eBook Usage Data Trust plans to continue its efforts via a new project from 2022 to 2025, with a mission to provide strategies for improved publication and management of Open Access books, by exchanging reliable usage data in a trusted, equitable and community-governed way. The project aims to develop and pilot the technological building blocks for an International Data Space (IDS) dedicated to the access and usage of Open Access scholarly books and support data sovereignty among usage data. In addition, IDS participants' will be offered identity management, usage data linking and routing, usage data access and use policy accountability measures through privacy, security, and governance controls.  

 The role of OpenAIRE

OpenAIRE has a strong and successful background in the management of usage data through the UsageCounts service, which offers standardized usage data processing, stewardship and dissemination. The service collects usage data or consolidated usage statistics reports from the distributed network of OpenAIRE's content providers, like institutional or dataset repositories, journals, etc. using open standards and protocols, like the COUNTER Code of Practice. Subsequently, it generates reliable, aggregated, and comparable usage metrics (number of downloads of objects and metadata views), relative to scientific articles using Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) across content providers. These metrics are offered for all aspects of research results and allow to shift to an open rewards and incentives mechanism.

Paolo Manghi (OpenAIRE's CTO) and Dimitris Pierrakos (Product Manager of OpenAIRE's UsageCounts service), will participate on behalf of OpenAIRE as Co-PI and member of the Initial Board of Trustees of the Open Access eBook Usage Data Trust respectively. OpenAIRE will contribute on the data trust's strategy development, monitor its implementation, and support the data trust to build a two-fold infrastructure, i.e., a community-driven with an established and trusted network of content providers and a service-driven infrastructure with workflows and services for standardized data sharing, processing, and publishing of usage reports.

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